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Keeping up with Anne: the Princess Royal’s racing week

Keeping up with Anne between March 10th and 17th was, for once, relatively straight forward. Basically, if you headed to Cheltenham you were more than likely to bump into the horse loving princess as she attended one of the most famous racing festivals in the world. That’s not to say Anne didn’t get up to other things – this is the Princess Royal we’re talking about. However, for once it’s a little more low key so take the chance  to relax for once as we attempt, again, to keep up with Anne.

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The Princess Royal’s week began in Edinburgh where, on March 11th 2019, she helped celebrate 100 years of the Royal Scots Club of which she is patron. The club was set up on March 11th 1919 with the aim of providing a meeting place for soldiers of all ranks who had experienced the horrors of World War One. The aim was for them to come together, regardless of class or social standing (so important at the time) and it was also intended to act as a memorial to those they had lost, with their comrades keeping their memory alive through conversation. The princess launched its centenary book and unveiled eight Victoria Cross stones in memory of those from the regiment whose bravery led to them being awarded that highest possible honour for gallantry.

The week also saw Anne attend two events for the Fishmongers’ Company, one of the twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London, which supports the fishing industry. Anne is its Fourth Warden. On March 13th 2019, the princess attended a court dinner held by the Fishmongers’ Company at Fishmongers’ Hall in the City of London and she was back at the same building the following day for a Wardens’ Meeting, General Court Meeting and lunch.

There was also time for rugby in the week as Anne headed to Twickenham, accompanied by her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, to watch the final Six Nations tie of this year for Scotland – she is the patron of Scottish Rugby Union. Anne watched them draw 38-38, a result which meant her team finished fifth in the competition.

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But the main focus of the week was Cheltenham where the horse racing festival ran from March 12th to March 15th 2019. Anne was spotted there as the races got under way and made several appearances there throughout the week. The princess was on hand to present the most famous trophy of the meeting, the Gold Cup, on Friday.

So here’s the question – do we count Anne’s attendance at Cheltenham as engagements? The Court Circular lists just one appearance for her there under its official tally, that of March 15th 2019 when she handed over the Gold Cup, so that’s what we’ll go with here. However, it should be remembered that Anne holds many patronages linked to horses and racing including that of the Jockey Club and the Racehorse Owners’ Association so although there was undoubtedly a lot of pleasure in these visits for the princess, it was also a chance to meet some of those involved in organisations close to her heart.

Including that once official Cheltenham appearance, Anne had five engagements in the week just gone and we know that is very low for her as she sometimes manages that number of events in a day. Overall, she has carried out 84 duties in 2019 so far. In 2018, she was the busiest member of the House of Windsor with 518 engagements in total.

About author

Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.